Episode 28 – More Flavors Are Better



Joe: On this episode of the "CBD University Podcast," more flavors. We recently launched our new line of CBD oils featuring more flavors for you to enjoy. How do we come up with new flavors for our products? And how long does it take to incorporate new flavors? And what's on the horizon for flavors? Plus we'll share some of your feedback with our food chemists on flavors you've suggested from our social media channels. This is the "CBD University Podcast," and it starts right now.

I'm Joe Agostinelli, the host of the "CBD University Podcast." If you are a returning listener, I thank you once again for tuning into our podcast, we always appreciate you coming back to find the latest news and information and more education than you'll find anywhere else right here on the "CBD University Podcast." If you're a new listener, we understand that you have some choices when it comes to podcasts to get information regarding CBD. And we're glad you have made the movement over to our podcast to be more educated and learn more not only about our products but industry news and trends and we'll be talking a lot about that on today's episode. If you have not done so already, I do invite you to subscribe to our podcast and you'll receive notifications when new episodes are published each week. You can also see full video of our episodes on our Global Widget YouTube channel along with the YouTube channel of our brands. And if you are a returning viewer or listener, you'll recognize my guest on today's podcast. He is our food chemist, Michael Torti returns. We're talking flavors. And as I mentioned with our CBD oils that we launched in May, we introduced a new flavor, chocolate mint, which is the newest flavor. Last year, we introduced orange creamsicle and acai berry and a natural hemp flavor. So, Michael, I welcome you back to the podcast.

Michael: All right. Thanks for having me, excited to be here.

Joe: So you have the fun job when it comes to flavors. And let's talk about that chocolate mint, you know, when we introduce a new flavor whether it's in oils or any of our other products, what's that process look like? How do we arrive on say, okay, chocolate mint we're going with, this is what we're gonna make, this is what it's gonna come out on the market?

Michael: Sure. I mean, it's great for us. We have pretty good relationships with some bigger flavor houses and that's a huge part of their business. The flavor industry, in general, is very competitive so it's not necessarily enough for them to just create a flavor, they're always looking to try and separate and differentiate ourselves. So a big part of their business is pitching ideas to CBD companies such as ourselves, diving into latest trends for the rest of this year, what they are forecasting for 2021, what are some big seasonal flavors. So we leverage a lot of their expertise in that regard. And then we also have a consumer insights team here as well that we work with and R&D and consumer insights typically have a pretty close partnership in most companies. So it's very exciting. For me, I really like doing that stuff and learning about that, looking into market research and consumer insights. So that's something that we do and take advantage of to look at new trends, to gauge the viability of different flavor options and can project how successful they may be.

Joe: When it comes to the flavor houses, are there flavors that may be trending in other industries that while they sound cool and all of that may taste great, may not work with, you know, CBD?

Michael: Yeah, I mean, different industries have different flavor trends, alcoholic beverages can be very different than seasonings on potato chips, something like that. In terms of CBD, obviously some people are more sensitive than others to the bitter flavor profile and taste notes of CBD, but that's something we can typically cover up depending on what the dosage of CBD is in a particular formula and what the serving size is. So I can't think of any flavors that wouldn't work, some may be harder to incorporate than others but I think that's something where we could really incorporate most any flavor, but certain delivery systems will have different flavors trending than other delivery systems if that makes sense.

Joe: I was out shopping recently and I had gone ironically past potato chips, and I'm honestly not a big potato chip guy, but I saw that it was the dill pickle seasoned potato chips and then there was an Italian sandwich seasoned potato chips, two flavors that I don't think will work with CBD oil but I did want to just buy the bags and eat the whole bag because both of those sound awesome but I can understand where some flavors may work in other industries. Talk about what goes into the research and the testing when we figure, okay, we think we're gonna go with chocolate mint or we're looking to add a flavor, how do we finally target that flavor that we're gonna go to market with?

Michael: Sure. We'll probably isolate a few flavors, work with a couple flavor companies. I'll work with them to submit briefs as to what we're looking for. We may even bring a scientist and an account manager from a flavor house in to do a technical flavor workshop with them. Obviously competition is good so we'll typically try and leverage two or three flavor houses, have them submit some briefs back to us. So if we want to mint chocolate profile based on our market research if that's the flavor we want to go with we'll have them submit a few different flavor samples and that's something I would work with them on. And then we would just gauge them against each other, we probably do an internal just the R&D department first, maybe knock out any that we really don't like, and then maybe put three or four on a sensory profile for the rest of the company to do a taste test. And that's something I would put together, I would ask questions to really get good data back that I'm looking for to move forward with one flavor. Flavor houses also have big sensory departments and they can do large scale 100, 200, 300 people taste tests for us as well. So that's typically where we'll go to get the data and determine which flavor we think works best.

Joe: And speaking of flavor tests, we'll get to it shortly, but we did put the question out on our social media channels to our followers and customers as to some of the flavors and ideas that they had. But before we get to that, let's talk about something you mentioned, seasonal flavors, and I'm thinking as we get towards, I always think holiday time or maybe even summertime with some summer flavors, but I'm thinking that pumpkin spice during the fall, maybe some gingerbread or my favorite cinnamon roll during the holidays, maybe champagne flavored into the new year, how hard is it to incorporate seasonal flavors into our products?

Michael: Typically not too hard. I mean, overall the products in matrix from an ingredient standpoint won't change that much. So that's definitely something that can be on a shorter timeline as opposed to a new product or even a new brand. A new brand can take a very long time, new products can take time, new flavors can be within that six-month window. So that's something where with pumpkin spice if we went to launch that September 1st that's something that we would be working on now to get that into the market by September 1st. Six months is kind of a maximum, you can do some things to shorten up that timeline maybe to 90 days but that's something where having a product roadmap is super helpful so we can engage and we can start working on pumpkin spice in the springtime. And then if we want to do a peppermint mocha or gingerbread for the months of December and January, that's something we can start working on in the summertime. So it's good to start working on those line extensions six months out. And certainly flavors are super helpful to the business, can really have that quarter pop from a revenue perspective and it's just typically one or two manufacturing runs and that can get you through the two-month season.

Joe: Yeah, you know, I'm one of those, it's like anything cinnamon roll flavored or apple cinnamon and that's it, I'm hooked, those are my weaknesses. And speaking of flavor ideas, so before we launched our CBD oils at the beginning of May, we had put out the question across our social media networks for some of the flavors that customers maybe would like to see or had ideas of what our new flavor would be. A few did guess chocolate mint which ended up being the flavor that came out in our oils. But from our social media, any idea what are some of the more popular responses may be?

Michael: Sure. Being the summertime, tropical flavors are always on-trend, especially in the summertime, so I guess maybe coconut, pineapple, mango, guava, that sort of thing from a fruit standpoint. And to your point, cinnamon is pretty popular now too so you can see like an apple cinnamon or an apple pie, cinnamon bun, that kind of thing as well from a more... So if you're looking at both fruit and kind of chocolate decadent that's kind of what I would think.

Joe: On the tropical side for summer, coconut was one of the more popular ones, and then also fruit wise was grape. And then we talk, and it's funny I think everybody was in a dessert mode when they answer because the other flavors that got multiple mentions were glazed donut, which you can never go wrong with. I haven't had a glazed donut in years but you can never go wrong with a glazed donut, cheesecake, which if I'm getting like frozen yogurt or something, that's one of my favorite, caramel or caramel, however you call it personally. But then cotton candy, sweet cherry, cheese danish, strawberry shortcake, and my favorite ice cream growing up was cookie dough.

Michael: It's my favorite ice cream to this day.

Joe: So it's like everyone's favorite looking to mix their oils in with. Shifting away from oils there are other products that we have flavor profiles with, our CBD Jolly Bombs are one of them, they come in four different flavors. How would, if we were to go about incorporating new flavors into something like Jolly Bombs or maybe even gummies down the road, hint, how would incorporating new flavors into those be different or is it a similar process to the oils?

Michael: It would be a similar process, the gummies and the lollipops are obviously two big sellers for us. So I think that certainly, the manufacturing processes is much different, a little bit more complicated than the tincture oils, so that would be something where we would just have to make sure that flavor is able to be incorporated into the manufacturing process properly and that there's good uniformity throughout the product. So in terms of transitioning a new flavor from the laboratory environment to a commercial manufacturing environment, that might be different just to make sure that the process works and that there's uniform distribution throughout all the gummies. But in terms of the overall process of consumer research and conducting stability studies, working with the flavor houses, and that would all be pretty similar across any delivery system.

Joe: And in this year of more, as we head into the summer stay tuned to our future podcast episodes as we get more into more flavors, more new products, and more CBD. So stay tuned to the "CBD University Podcast" for all the latest news and information regarding that. Michael, I wanna thank you for taking time to join us once again on our podcast. And I'm sure as we continue to come out with new products to the market, we'll have you back and talk a little bit about the flavors and everything else that's great about them.

Michael: Absolutely, yeah, it's great to be here. Thanks for having me.

Joe: Michael Torti, our food chemist, my guest on this episode of the "CBD University Podcast." And some things that we talked about, especially with the more flavors, we always do invite our customers to provide feedback on our products and flavors and ideas for new products. You can always submit those to our social media channels, drop us an email or comment on any of our podcast posts and we'll be sure to bring them up to the team and maybe even discuss them here on a future episode of the "CBD University Podcast." As I mentioned in the introduction if you have not yet done so I invite you to subscribe to our podcast to get notifications when new episodes are published. You can subscribe on your favorite podcast platform of choice, wherever you get your podcasts. You can also watch full episode videos on the Global Widget YouTube channel and on the YouTube channels of our brands. I'm Joe Agostinelli, the host of the "CBD University Podcast." Thanks for tuning in.

Man: These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. CBD products are unintended to treat, cure, or prevent any disease or condition. Always consult your personal physician about CBD and using CBD products. CBD should never be used by anyone under the age of 18. This podcast is not intended to provide legal advice regarding the legal status of CBD and CBD products.